UTSA Confucius Institute to celebrate Feb. 10 grand opening

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(Feb. 9, 2010)--UTSA will celebrate the grand opening of the Confucius Institute on Feb. 10, beginning with a private ceremony in the morning and continuing with a performance by the University of International Business and Economics' student artist troupe at 7:30 p.m. in the Arts Building Recital Hall (2.03.02) on the Main Campus. The performance is free and open to the public.

One of more than 300 such institutes worldwide, the UTSA Confucius Institute will promote awareness of Chinese culture, history and society in South Texas through Chinese language instruction and educational exchanges in partnership with the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, China.

"China is a global economic and political power," said Don Lien, director of the UTSA East Asia Institute and Confucius Institute. "By adopting an awareness of China's culture, history, society and economy, we are equipping our students with the tools they need to establish strong and successful business partnerships once they graduate."

The private ceremony will include a delegation from the UIBE led by Wang Ling, university council chair, who will meet UTSA officials including President Ricardo Romo. Consul General Gao Yanping from the Chinese consulate in Houston and state Rep. James Chen also will attend.

The Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing will provide most of the funding for the UTSA Confucius Institute. To date, the headquarters has given UTSA $150,000 for start-up costs and pledged 3,000 Chinese books and videos. Additionally, it will fund UIBE to send an associate director and two professors to UTSA to teach courses and help organize and direct programs and activities. UTSA now offers beginning and intermediate Chinese language courses.

The UTSA Confucius Institute is a component of the UTSA East Asia Institute, which promotes awareness of East Asian cultures and societies through education and enrichment opportunities.

To learn more about the UTSA Confucius Institute, contact Professor Donald Lien at 210-458-7312.